Africa’s premier award and fellowship for the youngest entrepreneurs in Africa is excited to announce that the call for applications for 2020 is now open. Each year, the award celebrates 20 African entrepreneurs, aged 22 and younger, each of whom has a chance to win a shared US$ 100,000 prize. The grand prize winner earns US$ 25,000, US$ 15,000 for the 1st runner-up, and US$ 12,500 for the 2nd runner up. Each finalist receives US$ 2,500.
In addition to the cash prize, selected entrepreneurs will join 120 previous winners to become Anzisha Fellows, receiving support from a team of industry experts for business consultancy and coaching services. They also gain access to the Young Entrepreneurs Fund–a catalytic investment fund designed by investing to boost the reputation of very young entrepreneurs.
“It has been an exciting 10-year journey with some of the continent’s brightest and youngest entrepreneurs. With the help of key partners and those who share in our vision, we’ve been able to support and celebrate very young entrepreneurs who represent the diversity of the African continent; entrepreneurs who tackle youth unemployment with vigour and courage beyond their years,” says, Melissa Mbazo-Ekpenyong, Deputy Director of the Anzisha Prize.
The Anzisha Prize has organized five regional events throughout the continent to mark the decennial, including South Africa, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Kenya. The event ends in October with the Anzisha Prize Forum in Nairobi, Kenya where it will announce the winners of 2020. Each event is designed to catalyze youth entrepreneurship conversations and gather key stakeholders in the entrepreneurship landscape to collaborate with these young entrepreneurs and to support them.
“The Anzisha Prize has grown to become a holistic and comprehensive prize program that celebrates, nurtures, and advocates on behalf of Africa’s young job creators,” says Daniel Hailu, Regional Head Eastern and Southern Africa Programs, Mastercard Foundation. “Ensuring young entrepreneurs have a clear pathway to learn and succeed is a core component of the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy, and we encourage entrepreneurs, especially young women to apply.”
Young African entrepreneurs aged 15-22 who are operating job-generating enterprises are encouraged to apply before 31 March 2020. Past award winners include 2019 Grand Prize recipient, Education pioneer, Democratic Republic Congo (DRC) Yannick Kimanuka. Yannick grew up in the war-torn North Kivu eastern Province of DRC where she saw the effect that conflict had on schools in her community and vowed to empower children by increasing access to quality education. By the age of 20, Yannick founded KIM’s School Complex–a nursery and primary school that aims to improve young children’s education in her community.
As the program continues to influence and inspire young people to seek entrepreneurship as a career path, the road ahead is a promising one. To encapsulate the last 10 years of the program, the Anzisha Prize has chosen the word ‘Sankofa’ in the Ghanaian Twi language, which means “We have the capacity to revisit the past and extract knowledge and wisdom that we need to remake the future” Entrepreneurs are advised to download the application guide or apply for the prize at anzishaprize.org/apply.
For more information on the Anzisha Prize, to apply, and to nominate an entrepreneur, please visit the Anzisha Prize website:
If you’d like to attend the Anzisha regional events, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to share your interest. The first event takes place in Cape Town, South Africa on 3 March 2020.
About the Anzisha Prize: The Anzisha Prize is delivered by the African Leadership Academy in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation. Through the Anzisha Prize, the organisers seek to fundamentally and significantly increase the number of job generative entrepreneurs in Africa. They believe that a key to doing so is to test, implement and then share models for identifying, training and connecting high potential, very young entrepreneurs (15 to 22 years old) so that many more organisations have better collective success in creating a pipeline of entrepreneurs with the capabilities for scale.
About African Leadership Academy: African Leadership Academy (ALA) seeks to transform Africa by developing a powerful network of entrepreneurial leaders who will work together to achieve extraordinary social impact. Each year, ALA brings together the most promising young leaders from all 54 African nations for a pre-university program in South Africa with a focus on leadership, entrepreneurship and African studies. ALA continues to cultivate these leaders throughout their lives, in university and beyond, by providing on-going leadership and entrepreneurial training and connecting them to high-impact networks of people and capital that can catalyse large-scale change. For more information, visit http://africanleadershipacademy.org.
About the Mastercard Foundation: The Mastercard Foundation (MastercardFdn.org) seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. The Foundation’s work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion for people living in poverty. One of the largest foundations in the world, it works almost exclusively in Africa. It was created in 2006 by Mastercard International and operates independently under the governance of its own Board of Directors. The Foundation has offices in Accra, Ghana; Nairobi, Kenya; Toronto, Canada; and Kigali, Rwanda. Visit www.MastercardFdn.org for more information and to sign up for the Foundation’s newsletter. Follow the Foundation at @MastercardFdn on Twitter.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Anzisha Prize.